From the Archives

A look back

L to R: Various installation views: "Pitti rivisatto,” Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy, 1997 / All artworks by George Woodman. Image 2: “Pitti, Medea, Roses,” c. 1988. 41 1/4 x 72 in / Image 4: “Untitled,” 1990. 41 1/4 x 78 in / Image 6: “Untitled,” c. 1990s. 24 x 20 in / Image 9: “Untitled,” 1990. 41 1/4 x 59 in. All gelatin silver prints.
Installation view, "Pitti rivisatto,” Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy, 1997.
George Woodman, “Pitti rivisatto," Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy, 1997: From the Archives...
Twenty-five years ago this month, George Woodman’s solo exhibition, "Pitti rivisatto," opened at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, and remained on view all summer long. His layered black and white photographs take this Renaissance palace as their subject, but also as an opportunity to reflect on time and the experiences carried within each viewer.
L to R: 1-2: "Segno: Notiziario di arte contemporanea," Issue 9, summer 1978 / Francesca Woodman. "From Space2,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1976. 6 3/8 x 6 3/8 in. Gelatin silver print.
"Segno: Notiziario di arte contemporanea," Issue 9, summer 1978.
Francesca Woodman, Segno Magazine, 1978: From the Archives...
In the summer of 1978, Francesca Woodman’s photograph “Space 2” was featured in the Italian contemporary art magazine “Segno.” In the accompanying text, she explained that her original idea for the image came from her desire to illustrate literary metaphors but evolved over a group of photographs into a kind of story following a figure who explores these metaphors.
L to R: Images 1-6: Betty Woodman. “Impruneta Flower Pots,” c. 1998-2004. Variable dimensions. Terra cotta. Views in Antella, Italy / Betty Woodman with Tullio Orlandi, Italy, c. 1998-2004.
Betty Woodman. “Impruneta Flower Pots,” c. 1998-2004. Variable dimensions. Terra cotta. Views in Antella, Italy.
Betty Woodman, "Impruneta Flowers Pots," c. 1998-2004, Antella, Italy: From the Archives...
Over summers spent in Antella, Italy, Betty Woodman often developed projects which could only be realized there. From 1998-2004, she collaborated with a pottery in Impruneta—a nearby town renowned for its terra cotta clay—enlivening their standard-issue garden planters with her vase-shaped façades and signature brushstrokes.
.L to R: Artworks by George Woodman. "War Sadness Escape," 1999. 42 x 39 in. Gelatin silver print / Images 2 & 4: Installation views, “Contrapposto & Other Stories,” Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, 2014 / "Boboli: Fountain of Neptune,” 1997. 71 3/4 x and 41 1/4 in. Gelatin silver print.
George Woodman. “War Sadness Escape,” 1999. 42 x 39 in. Gelatin silver print.
George Woodman's camera obscura photographs in "Contrapposto & Other Stories," Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, 2014: From the Archives...
Summertime is here again, and each year it has brought with it a fresh crop of summer group shows around New York City. Here’s one from 2014: George Woodman’s camera obscura photographs were included in “Contrapposto & Other Stories,” curated by Katia Rosenthal at Jeff Bailey Gallery in Chelsea.
L to R: George Woodman in his early studio, Albuquerque, c. 1950s / George Woodman with one of his paintings, Boulder, c. 1970s / George Woodman in his studio, New York, c. 2000s.
George Woodman in his early studio, Albuquerque, c. 1950s.
George Woodman, born on this day in 1932: From the Archives...
"At age fourteen I decided to become an artist, ambition enough for my life,” George Woodman once wrote. And over the next seven decades, he did just that, working fervently as a painter and photographer, and also as a writer and professor. Today, we celebrate George, who was born on this day in 1932!
L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. Images 1-2: Installation views of “Horizontal Garden” (2005), The Great Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. 29 x 32 x 18 in. Glazed earthenware / Installation view of “The Art of Betty Woodman,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, April 25—July 30, 2006. Photographs by Eli Ping.
Installation view of Betty Woodman's “Horizontal Garden” (2005), The Great Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. 29 x 32 x 18 in. Glazed earthenware. Photograph by Eli Ping.
Betty Woodman, Met Vases, 2006: From the Archives...
Spring flowers always remind us of Betty Woodman, and particularly her vases in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which greeted visitors to the museum with their bold colors, overlapping patterns and allusions to vases and gardens, holding an ever-changing display of seasonal blooms. They were installed on the occasion of her 2006 retrospective there—the first time the museum dedicated such an exhibition to a living woman artist.
L to R: All artworks by George Woodman. Exhibition poster for ‘George Woodman,’ Spectrum Gallery, 1970 / “Untitled,” c. 1968-69. 30 x 22 1/4 in. Screenprint on paper / “Untitled,” 1969. 60 x 60 in. Acrylic paint on canvas.
Exhibition poster for ‘George Woodman,’ Spectrum Gallery, 1970.
George Woodman, Spectrum Gallery, 1970: From the Archives...
Fifty-two years ago this week would have been your last chance to see George Woodman’s solo exhibition at Spectrum Gallery in New York City. Woodman’s canvases and prints during this period were characterized by fields of interlocking, repetitive shapes, which, as Robert Berlind later described: “may be seen as a reprise of the transition earlier in the century from a still-descriptive cubism to a “purer” non-referentiality. These paintings are equally in keeping with the contemporaneous interests of Op Art and made a crucial contribution to the Criss-Cross movement which flourished in the 70’s in Boulder and had an impact on the New York scene.”
L to R: Images 1-4: All from Betty Woodman’s first trip to Fiesole, near Florence, Italy, 1951-52 / Soggiorno degli Stranieri in Italia ("Foreigner's Stay in Italy”) for Betty Woodman, 1951.
From Betty Woodman’s first trip to Fiesole, near Florence, Italy, 1951-52.
Betty Woodman's trip to Fiesole, Italy, 1951-52: From the Archives...
Betty Woodman first traveled to Italy in 1951, on the suggestion of her friends Grace and John Tagliabue who invited her to join them there. She spent the year in Fiesole, renting a room on a hillside overlooking Florence and its Duomo and working in a pottery studio owned by painter Giorgio Ferrero and sculptor Lionello Fallacara.
L to R: Images 1-3: Processing George Woodman’s paper tiles in our archive, 2022 / Images 4-5: George Woodman’s paper tile installation, Denver Art Museum, 1980 / Images 6-7: George Woodman’s paper tile installation, unknown location, 1981.
Processing George Woodman’s paper tiles in our archive, 2022.
George Woodman's paper tiles, 1980-81: From the Archives...
Although the Woodman Family Foundation archives are starting to take shape, there is still much more material to process before we are ready to open them up to scholars and researchers. Currently, we are processing George Woodman’s paper tiles and related plans, descriptions and documentation so that we can better understand this key aspect of his practice, which took his work with pattern off the canvas and into space and situation.